In 2015, Minnie Mouse started a brand new holiday celebration: Minnie’s Hollywood & Vine Holiday Dine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
This buffet celebrates the season with flavors that bring the comfort and warmth of the holiday to your plate. And there are characters! In their holiday attire! With sparkly shoes!
Sorry, that was a lot of exclamation points. But the punctuation expresses our love for the overall experience at Minnie’s Holiday Dine. Though the decor is relatively subtle (just a sparkly Christmas tree and some wraps on the pillars), the opportunity to meet Santa Goofy and to mingle with Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, and Donald is fantastic.
As character meals go, this is one of the more underrated options at Walt Disney World. Perhaps because it’s tucked into a Park rather than in a generally more accessible Resort setting, Hollywood & Vine is oft forgotten by guests planning their Disney World dining. Breakfast at Hollywood & Vine features Disney Junior pals, and lunch and dinner are now Minnie’s Seasonal dining; in addition to the Holiday Dine, Minnie also celebrates spring, summer, and Halloween! (See — even Minnie knows it’s Halloween and straight into Christmas. Sorry, Thanksgiving!)
Happy Christmas and Merry Holidays — let’s go eat!
Hollywood & Vine Restaurant has a very cool vibe at the front entrance. If you’re dining after dark, head for the art-deco-shaped neon! For the holiday season, silver boughs and Christmas ornaments flank the front entry.
If you’ve got a little wait ahead of you, there’s some bench seating for you while you wait.
You might spot these posters on your way in. They share the daily schedule for the Play ‘n’ Dine Breakfast and Minnie’s Seasonal Dine (starting at 11:30AM everyday).
This sign welcoming guests to Minnie’s Holiday Dine even has the prices — $54 for adults, $32 for guests 3-9. (Anyone else routinely annoyed that Disney doesn’t publicize their buffet prices online?)
Inside the restaurant, the Holiday part of Holiday Dine is pretty obviously temporary. Pillars are wrapped with vinyl Holiday Dine banners.
They’re festive but nothing special…
…unless This Guy happens to pop out from behind a pillar just as you’re taking a pic! Hey, Mickey, you’re so fine (you know, for an oversized mouse).
A retro-fabulous silver tree covered in pink balls and bows brings more holiday cheer to the space, but overall it’s not in-your-face that it’s a holiday party. We’d like to see more, but this likely works for a lot of folks.
And we confess to enjoying the silver tree immensely. It’s so funky, it’s awesome.
Of course, when it comes down to the Holiday Dine, you’re not really in it for the decor, are you? You’re in it for the character interactions!
Since this is Minnie’s meal, we’re starting with the star of this show!
She’s dressed to the nines in her red dress and bow with loads of sequins and details.
The shoes are fine, too, covered in shimmer dust. She’s literally sparkling from bow to toe!
Of course, Minnie’s pal Daisy is bringing her unique style to the game, too. She’s in velvety green with starbust details.
It’s clear this duck knows how to pose. Is she smizing, or is that our imagination?
Daisy’s also shimmery at the Holiday dine, with a glittering bracelet and details on her bow.
But if you loved Minnie’s shoes, hold the phone because Daisy has stepped it up with even more green velvet!
The gents are in their finest, too. Mickey Mouse wears a deep red sport coat and a funky striped shirt.
He’s ready to greet guests with his signature grin. And peep that cute little wreath pin and the white piping on the jacket. Such a dapper fellow… er, rodent.
Donald is here, too! He’s in a pair of vests (we didn’t ask why, just go with it) and an Oxford shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Those sleeves mean business, and the business is posing for the camera.
Ahoy, sailor. The vests truly make no sense, but we love them anyway.
He looks upset with us, but we swear: we’re very well-behaved in a restaurant setting. Okay, maybe we take a lot of food photos, but that’s not a crime — it’s our job!
There’s one last friend we’ve got to say hello to, and his meeting requires documentation. When you check-in for your meal at Minnie’s Holiday Dine, you’ll receive a ticket to meet Santa Goofy!
Santa Goofy has a distinct set-up: a background with an art deco pattern and the Holiday Dine log emblazoned on it.
Santa Goofy is still goofy, so expect to have a fun interaction with this larger-than-life pooch… in his Santa suit.
He’s contemplating our place on the Nice List. (Don’t tell him we got in trouble with Donald.)
During our visit, Daisy came over for a quick chat before dashing off to greet more of her adoring fans.
The characters at Minnie’s Holiday Dine are really fun. During our visit, the dining room wasn’t particularly busy, so we had plenty of time to interact with the characters. During a busier service, things might be a little more rushed, but ultimately this is a dining experience where you can expect a good interaction.
And now it’s time for the final piece of the character meal puzzle: the meal. The buffet at Hollywood & Vine is fairly extensive, with options for young and old and a handful of plant-based dishes identified by the now-ever-present leaf logo. (See what we mean here.)
This buffet set-up, like many other buffet meals on property, offers two identical sides — so whether you go left or right as you approach the buffet, you’ll find the same dishes on both sides.
On the table you’ll find information about cocktails, wine, and beer. These are included if you’re using the Disney Dining Plan to pay for your meal, but if you’re paying out of pocket, these are an extra cost.
We started with Hot Chocolate because it was chilly outside (by Florida standards, don’t judge us). This was delicious. It was included with the meal, as are soft drinks, coffee, apple and orange juice, regular and chocolate milk, and tea.
The buffet includes a lot of expected items, but many have a twist. The Salad Station is packed with options to top off your romaine or mixed greens.
There are Pretzel Rolls and Dinner Rolls with tiny tubs of butter.
The buffet had lots of hot options, including Corn on the Cob, Meatballs (more below!), Brown Gravy, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
The Brown Gravy and Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a solid option — especially if you’re looking to have some traditional, familiar foods on your plate.
The Beef Meatballs with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce is a tasty twist on standard meatballs. These were one of our favorite options.
Our favorite dish of the night was Fig-Stuffed Pork Loin with Bourbon Glaze. This was phenomenal and felt appropriate for a holiday meal.
The Smoked Chicken with Garlic Balsamic Glaze and Apple-Ginger Relish was another great offering. It was packed with flavor and utilized ingredients often seen during the holiday season.
Proteins also include Seared Salmon with Sauteed Spinach. This had a breadcrumb coating, so we’re not sure where the searing part comes in. Perhaps it was seared and then coated in breadcrumbs? Anyway, there’s salmon! 😉
There’s also seafood in the form of Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce and Crab Claws.
If you prefer your seafood with a big ol’ helping of carbs, there is Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese. This dish is one we’ve seen on other visits to Hollywood & Vine, but it’s a tasty take on the classic.
The Gnocchi with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemon is a great, seasonal option. There are bits of kale in there, too, for contrast.
Stuffing is a holiday staple, and at the Holiday Dine, it’s done up with Apple, Cranberry, and Cornbread.
Another staple for lots of us? Green Bean Casserole. This one was good, with bright green beans and some crunch from toasted breadcrumbs.
The kids’ sections of the buffet offer classic kids items: Chicken Nuggets, Tater Tots, etc. If you’re a grown up, don’t be shy about the Kids’ Buffet; it’s there for you, too!
As you can see, the Mini Corn Dogs are a popular option. 😉
For those with Special Dietary Requests, there’s info right on the buffet that encourages you to talk to the chef. You can ask your server to arrange that for you before you even head up to the buffet.
Plant-based items are marked on the buffet, but talk to the chef if you have special needs in this regard, too.
Plant-based items include Pan-roasted Squash, which is pretty straight-forward and maybe a bit boring.
The Three-Bean Quinoa Cake with Tomato Jam definitely has more going on, but it doesn’t look tremendously appetizing. Still, tomato jam is almost never a bad idea.
If you love a pan of greens, there’s Sauteed Swiss Chard for you.
There’s no shortage of dessert options at the Holiday Dine. We loved the Peppermint Blondies!
The Eggnog Cheesecake was a fun play on the holiday classic. The topping — eggnog frosting, basically — was a little too sweet for us, but the cheesecake itself was great.
Apple Cranberry Tarts come in these compact graham cracker shells. These packed traditional flavors and were a mildly sweet comfort food option.
Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes are another seasonally-appropriate choice. We liked the flavor but could’ve stood a little more gingerbread spice.
We enjoyed a plate of proteins and sides, loading up just like Christmas dinner! There’s Beef Roast in the center of the plate, which comes from a carving station you’ll find in the center of the buffet.
We do love a green bean…
The Smoked Chicken and Shrimp Mac and Cheese were friendly neighbors.
And we loved the Meatballs — definitely give them a try during your Holiday Dine.
Desserts we had to try include the Mini Chocolate Bundt Cake in addition to the Tart, the Cupcake, the Cheesecake, and the Blondie.
Let’s just say we didn’t exactly float out the door. It was more like a waddle — a very satisfied waddle.
Overall the food at Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine is really quite good. The holiday flavors and typical Disney buffet foods offer something for just about everyone.
But the fun didn’t stop with characters and grub! We also received a fun sticker activity! It’s a cardstock wreath with ornament stickers — so you can design your own wreath!
This is such a fun activity for the kids — and the kids at heart! (It’s possible we’ll steal this idea to keep the kids busy this winter!)
We also received a Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine autograph card. This is a fun souvenir, and because the characters don’t sign autographs at Hollywood & Vine, this is the only John Hancock you’re getting from them.
Nosh or Not?
Book Minnie’s Holiday Dine if…
- You’ve just gotta see the Fab Five in their holiday best!
- Buffet dining is a hit for your crew, and you like to try it in every park.
- You’re looking looking for a character meal, and this one fits the bill.
Skip Minnie’s Holiday Dine if…
- Character meals aren’t your thing.
- You prefer not to eat table service when you’re in the Parks.
- This style of cuisine doesn’t appeal to you in a buffet setting.
Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine is a tasty character meal that covers all the basic bases: good food, great character interactions, fun (though limited) holiday overlay. Meeting Santa Goofy is a real coup at this meal, and that alone may be worth the cost of the meal for some guests.
Among character meals at Walt Disney World, Hollywood & Vine’s offerings are often easier to book (i.e. less popular) than others (we’re thinking Chef Mickey’s, Crystal Palace, etc.). If you’re planning a last-minute trip and a character meal is a must, you may have some luck getting a reservation here, even on the day-of. And you’ll likely be happy that you did!
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Have you tried Minnie’s Holiday Dine? Let us know what you thought about it in the comments below.